Technology staffing is uniquely challenging. It combines high overall competition for talent with particularly demanding requirements for individual positions. The 2017 State of Tech Hiring Survey of more than 200 hiring managers, recruiters and workers highlighted some of these difficulties:
- The number one reason candidates are rejected is inability to pass a technical bar. This screening might include questions about current certifications, previous project responsibilities and favorite tools, along with requests to perform specific tasks like finding the number of duplicate entries in a large file.
- Almost 80 percent of the survey's respondents reported either switching jobs in 2016 or at least considering it. For the right candidates, making frequent career changes can be logical, considering the compensation packages that IT professionals can often attract. For example, Facebook employees had median pay of $240,000 in 2017.
- Hiring managers were most concerned about finding enough qualified applicants for each open position. This perceived shortage has been apparent for years and is reflected in the low unemployment rate for IT personnel – only 1.8 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to 4.1 percent for all occupations.
That said, not all roles are equally challenging to hire for. Specific skills such as machine learning (ML) and design thinking are in especially high demand in 2018. Here are three positions that stand out this year, along with what you should do when identifying and screening candidates.
1. ML engineer
The job: ML refers to the capacity of machines to progressively understand concepts and tasks with little to no human supervision. It's closely associated with artificial intelligence and is an important component of everything from Google Translate to automated software-defined wide area networks. ML engineers design the algorithms and training data necessary for getting ML engines off the ground.
"Machine learning is an important component of everything from Google Translate to SD-WANs."
The outlook: Indeed.com ranked ML engineer as the fourth best U.S. occupation for 2018, with a 166 percent increase in postings between 2014 and 2017. Both big tech conglomerates and smaller startups have acute need for ML experts to help them make sense of large data sets.
How to recruit for it: A competent ML candidate should have mathematical aptitude, including knowledge of statistics, familiarity with popular ML frameworks and the patience to continually refine their algorithms. To attract talent, offer applicants intellectually challenging opportunities with major effects on your company's technical strategy.
2. Computer vision engineer
The job: Computer vision is the study of how machines can process information from still or moving digital images. It has numerous practical applications, especially in highly automated assembly lines. Computer vision engineers design applications and scripts that help robots pick and place items. Alternatively, they train programs to recognize specific images.
The outlook: According to Indeed, computer vision engineer postings have increased 169 percent since 2014. Average salary is over $131,000. The growth of both virtual reality and augmented reality should keep this role in high demand in the coming years.
How to recruit for it: Knowledge of C++ and platforms like Nvidia CUDA is commonly required. Candidates with background in ML and robotics may also be well-equipped for success in applying computer vision principles in multiple contexts. In fact, many of the principles discussed above in relation to ML apply here as well.
3. Full stack developer
The job: A full stack developer is adept with both frontend and backend technologies. In other words, he or she has working command of:
- Server and hosting environments.
- Data modeling.
- Automatic programming interfaces (aka APIs).
- Model-view-controller frameworks.
- User interfaces and experiences (UI/UX).
Full stack developers are in high demand for their versatility. They are invaluable contributors to the success of early-stage startups, which often have to get by with limited staff and as such benefit from personnel who can wear multiple hats.
The outlook: Indeed has ranked full stack developer as the second best job in America in 2018. Average salary is above $111,000 online postings climbed almost 200 percent between 2014 and 2017.
How to recruit for it: It's important to have someone who has worked as a full stack developer in your recruiting/hiring team. Full stack developers should also be viewed as generalists, rather than specialists, so it doesn't make sense to compare them to engineers who focus only on one or two layers of the stack.
Paramount has the technology staffing services to help you find great candidates for these widely sought-after positions. Contact our team now to learn more about how we can guide your search.